Tonight at 6, Berkshire Hathaway-owned ABC affiliate WPLG Miami begins daily news coverage from Havana. It’s the first U.S. TV station granted permission to base a full-time news crew in Cuba. “Cuba is local news in Miami,” said Bill Pohovey, WPLG’s VP of news. It’s estimated that more than 1.5 million Cuban Americans live in […]
Tonight at 6, Berkshire Hathaway-owned ABC affiliate WPLG Miami begins daily news coverage from Havana. It’s the first U.S. TV station granted permission to base a full-time news crew in Cuba.
“Cuba is local news in Miami,” said Bill Pohovey, WPLG’s VP of news.
It’s estimated that more than 1.5 million Cuban Americans live in Florida.
WPLG reporter Hatzel Vela and photojournalist Brian Ely have moved to Havana, living in a rented furnished apartment usually reserved for visiting tourists.
They’ve been in Havana since Wednesday and their arrival has already paid off in an exclusive story for WPLG on Friday when President Obama made the surprise announcement to repeal the ‘wet foot, dry foot’ immigration policy.
Vela, in a phone interview from Havana, said that being embedded in the country full-time will give them access to news and stories that couldn’t be told before.
“We have traveled to Cuba more than a dozen times in recent years,” said Vela. “But each time we’ve had limited time on the island and were in Cuba to cover specific events like a papal visit or the visit of President Obama. Now, we will have time to find stories that haven’t been told.”
Vela said that the Cubans are excited to see an American journalist there.
“This is an incredible opportunity for a journalist. We understand the weight of this assignment and the expectations of our viewers,” said Vela.
“Hatzel and Brian are free to cover the stories they choose to cover,” said Pohovey. “The only request from the Cuban government was a promise that our coverage would be fair, and that’s something we deliver in all of our news coverage.”
“Having a reporter and photojournalist living in Cuba will give all of us a deeper understanding of what is happening on the island,” said Bert Medina, WPLG’s president.
“This will be something very unique in South Florida television.”
WPLG’s Cuban coverage has attracted media attention in the market. Click here to read the article.
NOTE: Given WPLG’s first story from Cuba won’t air until tonight’s 6 o’clock news, look for that story to be posted here on tomorrow’s Market Share.